Marauders home opener spoiled
Lacrosse: Saskatchewan comes back to edge Okotoks 12-10
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am
The Okotoks Marauders find themselves stuck in the middle with inconsistency.
Okotoks relinquished control in the second period and allowed the visiting Saskatchewan SWAT to come back and steal a 12-10 result to spoil the Jr. B Marauders’ home opener, Saturday night at Pason Centennial Arena.
“We came out slow in our last game so we really wanted to come out strong and we did,” said Marauder Jacob Gregoryk. “In our second period we came out a little bit lazier … It was a little bit of complacency, a little bit of fatigue and we’ve got some banged up guys.
“That’s something we’ve really got to work on this year is playing a consistent, 60-minute game and not letting a period get away from us.”
The Marauders took early control of the contest and built up a 4-0 advantage through the first 10 minutes, highlighted by an absolute snipe from captain Matt McKay and a pair of identical breakaway tallies from speedster Devin Posehn.
After the SWAT chipped into the lead with a fortunate bounce on the powerplay, a touch of class from Saskatchewan’s Baden Boyenko on a sublime stick fake beat Okotoks’ Kyle Vernon and the period buzzer to make it 4-2 with a mere 1.9 seconds on the clock.
The late tally signalled a changing of the guard and a dominant middle frame from the visitors, reflected by its 8-4 advantage in the period.
An early period tally from Okotoks’ Chace Wiley was quickly erased as the SWAT poured in three in a row to tie it at 5-5. Posehn completed the hat-trick with yet another breakaway marker, using his elite speed to win a foot race down the floor.
Two goals in succession gave the SWAT its first lead of the game and it wouldn’t look back.
Despite late period tallies from the Marauders through Gregoryk and Keenan Vernon, the hosts were staring at a 10-8 deficit at the second intermission.
“We lost our grip a bit in the second and it doesn’t take very long for the goals to pile up,” said Marauders head coach John Millar. “These things happen, we’re a young team and we definitely have consistency issues.
“It’s nice that even though we were down we fought hard and came back and made an actual lacrosse game of it in the third.”
The teams exchanged markers early in the final frame with Okotoks’ Eric Antonchuk converting on a breakaway to make it 11-9. The SWAT added some much needed insurance with five minutes left before taking an ill-timed double-minor to give Okotoks a golden opportunity to erase the three-goal advantage.
Marauder Aidan Deans made good on the opportunity, using a deft shot fake before releasing a low far side shot to make it a 12-10 game. A pair of posts and dynamic saves from SWAT goalie Jeremy Carter later and Saskatchewan was celebrating a nail biting victory in the foothills.
The defeat dropped the Marauders to 0-4 in the early stages of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) slate, a fact that hasn’t dampened team enthusiasm.
“Every game we’ve played has been a stepping stone and we’re getting closer and closer,” said Gregoryk, a Grade 12 student at Foothills Composite. “Soon enough we’re going to be tearing opponents apart, it’s going to be that simple.”
Okotoks will need to find its road legs to get in the win column. The Marauders begin a five-game road trip on May 15 in Calgary versus the Chill and don’t return to their home floor until the first week of June.
The full Marauders’ schedule is available at rockymountainlax.com